Skip to content



For over a decade, the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and HES-SO/HEG Geneva have maintained the SIB Literature Services (SIBiLS, Gobeill et al. 2020). The services are part of a broader initiative, led by SIB, the Swiss BioData ecosystem (SBDe). SIBiLS is also an ELIXIR Data Resource, supported by the Data Platform commissioned services.

In 2023, SIBiLS received a significant upgrade with the launch of the Biodiversity PMC digital library. SIBiLS operated the backend of the Biodiversity PMC front-end. It is emerging as a global resource in the field as it complements and addresses limitations of biological scholarly databases such as NLM’s PMC or EuropePMC as it is likely the largest digitally-native repository of articles for biodiversity research and related disciplines; thus delivering a broad coverage “One Health” library.

BioMoQA aims to enhance Biodiversity PMC to address key biodiversity questions about the effects of climate change, habitat loss or invasive species on biodiversity and ecosystems, and the implications for human societies. The new services will support experts and researchers in biodiversity, ecology and environmental sciences who need better search & access services to all bio-related publications.

We will enhance the platform's AI-powered analytical services (i.e. Question-Answering, SPARQL endpoint) and the acquisition & FAIR-ification of new and original contents as operated by Plazi and in particular the TreatmentBank database, which contains Open Access taxonomic treatments from Open Access (OA) and non OA articles.

We will evaluate how these services can help ecologists - and in particular our partner, Prof. Clara Zemp, from the University of Neuchâtel - to monitor biodiversity on island ecosystems. These new services will serve to supply scientific communities interested in biodiversity with a holistic Single Access Point to enhance evidence-based conservation of biodiversity and support the restoration of ecosystems.


See Project page was kicked off in May in Kassel. We will take care of the WP5. Background: Species names are taxonomic hypotheses which are likely to change over time, e.g. each accepted species name on average has eight synonyms, including homonyms, which may result in taxonomic confusion. Species names can also refer to different taxonomic concepts which may hamper the understanding of the delimitation of a species used in monitoring programs in different countries. As species are defined by taxonomic treatments, sections of texts, that define the discovery of a new species, subsequent treatments citing previous ones are adding new data about the respective species and thus provide the history of scientific names. Currently these treatments liberated by Plazi are reused in GBIF and over 42,000 checklists derived from taxonomic publications are integrated in ChecklistBank. The explicit reference to a specific treatment assures that data can be compared over time and space. These sets of taxonomic names can be used to comprehensively explore additional publications, such as ecological or Redlists, and complement the taxonomic works by applying text analytical pipelines, and in particular for biotic interactions using Natural Language Processing methods, including transformers, which are today SOTA (Naderi et al. 2021). In the context of the BICIKL project (Penev et a. 2022), the partners have developed a comprehensive literature bioannotation pipeline based on the SIB Literature Services (SIBiLS, Pasche et al. 2022) to deliver a comprehensive machine-readable biodiversity literature repository (e.g. TreatmentBank, PMC, MEDLINE). Contents of the repository are available in both JATS (Journal Article Tag Suite) and BioC (Biomedical Text Processing: Comeau et al. 2013) formats and holistic access based on OpenAPI is available (SIBiLS: Gobeill et al. 2020). Scientific work program: A reference database for all the treatments referenced at the WP1 sites will be created collecting reference publications, converting these into a machine actionable format, annotating and making treatments and figures FAIR using BLR, and generating JATS compliant treatments to be (data) published in SIBiLS. The integration of names in treatments into Catalogue of Life will be performed by interacting with ChecklistBank (WP4). A persistent identifier is minted to be attached to the respective names in the metabarcoding results. The taxonomic names complemented with its synonyms together with terms from biotic interactions vocabularies will be used to mine the treatments and other available relevant publications and Redlists in SIBiLS and will be made accessible for the combined analyses with metabarcoding data. Semantic enrichment of literature will comprise defined standards and generated annotations used for conversion of floras, Redlists, and ecological works for identification of biotic interactions and related features (e.g. ENVO/EUNIS for habitats). We will furthermore design JSON API and demonstrator GUI to support WP3/WP4 discovery tasks (this subtask will build on top of the named entity recognition to deliver species-centric traits and biotic interaction networks)